Flying drones in unsafe areas has become pretty problematic for UK, with recent near misses in two major UK cities proving that no matter how small they may be, they have the potential for some major aviation disasters.
Just today, we heard of two major occurrences in Manchester and Glasgow involving near collisions with aircraft. Neither was serious enough to need an emergency landing, but all you need is for a drone to enter one of the engines and you’ve got major problems. With the recent reveal of budget drones with premium features such as the Xiaomi Mi Drone, they’re only going to get more common in our skies.
Altitude Angel is a fresh company out of the UK who wants to try and change this by creating an open, global platform for the monitoring of drone activity. Anyone can use the service to access a rich source of airspace and regulatory data, some of which includes flight automation and collision avoidance.
Working in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), they’ve managed to put together a technology for Drone flyers that avoids accidents by putting them in a virtual space. Eventually, the service will be released as a fully-fledged application for smartphone users; currently it exists in a sort of BETA form.
The application will be called ‘Airspace Alerts’ and users will need to register the Drones location first. After doing this, a circle with 500m radius will be displayed around your drone; if any object is to fly into that space then the drone pilot will be immediately alerted. Currently this happens in the form of a text, though we’ve been told that this will be expanded to email when the application is ready for release.
It’s a simple and effective service that’s free to sign up for and should hopefully help those who fly drones regularly. While it won’t necessarily stop the issue with careless pilots who try to get them into the most stupid places, it should at least help give an indicator for those that pay attention.
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